Monday, December 19, 2016

The Link Between a Happy Spouse and a Healthy You

Scholars William Chopik and Ed O'Brien have conducted some fascinating research on the link between your spouse's happiness and your health.  According to the Booth Review

A number of previous studies have linked a person’s own happiness to health and longevity, but the researchers wondered if being around “happy others” might have a similar effect. To test the theory, Chopik and O’Brien assessed the health and happiness of nearly 2,000 couples, ages 50 to 94, over a period of six years. Both partners rated their individual happiness and life satisfaction, and answered questions about their personal physical health, including their activity level and any chronic health problems.  It turned out that the happiness of a person’s spouse was strongly linked to how healthy the individual was—in measures of overall health, physical impairment, and activity level. And this seemed to work for both partners. Even more, the effects of a partner’s happiness on a person’s health were independent of the individual’s own happiness level. “The current study demonstrates that happy partners seem to substitute as proxies for a happy self,” write Chopik and O’Brien.

The study left me wondering... What about happy co-workers, and even happy bosses?  Does your work context have a substantial impact on your health too?  It seems to me that it should.  Perhaps Chopik and O'Brien will examine that link next.  

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